Dorothy Kaneko

Memorial Services

Chicago, Ill.

Dec. 4, 2006

The Kaneko Family is grateful for all those who have been of support and comfort during this time of

great loss, including the following who have

participated in today’s service:


Teddi Olsen Cheri Takehara

Bob Tsuru David Nehrkorn


Guest book/Greeters

Merle Kaneko Marietta Hidaka



Mildred Shinsato Sandy Shinsato



Rev. Gary Hougen



Dr. Joseph Smith



Hikaru Tamaki

Yoshio Gotoh


A Celebration of Life

Dorothy Morita Kaneko

Visitation from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Memorial Service at 8:00 p.m.

December 4, 2006


Pastor Gary Hougen



Sweet Hour of Prayer Page 496 – verses 1 and 2


Pastor Gary Hougen

Old Testament – 23rd Psalm

New Testament


Pastor Gary Hougen

Cello Solo

Hikaru Tamaki

J. S. Bach's "Allemande" from "Suite No. 1"


Pastor Gary Hougen




In Celebration and Tribute

Mototsugu (Jr.) Morita

Kiyo Yoshimura

Bob Terada


Words of Appreciation

Stephanie Suzuki

Vocal Solo

Yoshio Gotoh

The Lord’s Prayer A.H. Malotte



Sing with All the Saints in Glory

Words by William Irons and music by Ludwig van Beethoven

Page 702 – verses 1 and 4

Closing Prayer

Pastor Gary Hougen


From children, Donna, Cherie and Kevin

On behalf of the immediate family, Hiroshi, Donna, Cheryl and Kevin, we would like to thank you for honoring their wife and mother by attending this memorial service and for your support and kindness during this difficult time for the family. Dorothy wanted her service to be joyous, uplifting and life affirming.

This year Dorothy had one of the best years of her life. Every day was filled with her usual activities centered around this church, the Japanese American Service Committee, and family activities. Hiroshi took care of her with attention and tenderness; Kevin and Susan brought over meals regularly; she made new friends at the JASC "Out-of-the-House" group; and family and friends kept her active and happily engaged. She proudly attended granddaughter Miwa’s senior honors art exhibition at Amherst College in Massachusetts; and beamed at grandson Hikaru’s concerto performance with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Hiroshi and Dorothy spent time in New York City with Cherie, then took a three-week road trip with Hiroshi’s sisters Rulie and Lilly from Los Angeles, visiting relatives in San Jose and Portland, and returned to her birthplace, Hood River, Oregon. In October she spent the month at Donna and Tom’s house in Maine taking daily walks through the woods, sitting by the pond and watching the changes of the fall colors.

While Dorothy and Hiroshi were at the Bangor International Airport waiting for their flight home, they noticed a group of local veterans and their wives in the terminal. Because this airport is one of the easternmost points with a long runway, it is utilized by many of the departing and returning military flights from Iraq. The group greets each flight with cakes, cookies and coffee. Donna suddenly realized that Dorothy had disappeared and found her standing in line with the veterans shaking hands with returning soldiers and thanking them for their service. This was what she was as a human being – open, friendly, giving and free-spirited. Yes, it was a perfect year for her.

Dorothy’s life was a banquet that she prepared with love, attention and generosity. With many responsibilities to a large extended family, work and community – and with her loss of memory in recent years – she might not have been given the best ingredients, but she always made the best of what life had to offer. Her dishes were sweet and sometimes spicy or tart; but she always made a delicious feast for everyone to enjoy. With her radiant smile and open spirit, she welcomed family, young students, newcomers to the U.S. and even perfect strangers, treating them like her own special children. Dorothy’s banquet gave her life the greatest happiness, meaning and joy. We know that she would encourage you to welcome others to your table without any thought of reward beyond a smile of satisfaction. On her behalf we deeply thank you for coming here tonight to celebrate her long and happy life.



From brother, Junior Morita and sister-in-law, Betty Morita


You saw her slowly coming up the stairs here to the fellowship hall, head dropping so low that her chin almost touched her chest, her back hunched over. You heard her asking if you saw her purse or her keys, you heard her repeatedly asking for confirmation of a date. She was a woman whose body had been attacked by a bone weakening illness that forbid her structure to support her body and whose mind and brain had been invaded by a disease feared by all. Yet, Dorothy Kaneko lived each day, not knowing what the future held for her, bravely, uncomplainingly, and with serenity, grace and a smiling face.

Yet, the Dorothy Kaneko my family and I remember is a loving sister, wife, mother, aunty and servant of God who fulfilled all those roles with tireless, dedication, devotion, intelligence, generosity of time, energy and resources.

"Have you completed your college applications?" Have you submitted them?" was her constant chorus as a big sister, when I was of student age. Where would I be now without compliance with her concern? How graciously, she and Hiroshi shared their orange and white Ford Victoria with me while I courted Betty and how earnestly they encouraged me to marry her. Her friendship, love and encouragement with frequent dinner invitations, haircuts, stops for Italian beef sandwiches on Webster Street after Church, inclusion in many cultural activities during my early married life and later, are most memorable.

Hiroshi had Dorothy’s undivided devotion, support, care, assistance and companionship, while working for a family in Barrington as housekeepers upon arriving in Chicago from Minidoka concentration camp, caring for his parents, sisters and brothers as well as her own parents and siblings in the various homes they established in Chicago near Clark and Division Street and on the far north side, making mochi in the garage behind their apartment on Clark Street, to sell in brother, Roy’s Japanese grocery store, or in all the church activities at CFC or here or in more recent years, accompanying him to various cultural events to exhibit his kites or his Japanese swords and antiques.

"Do your homework!", "practice your piano" echoed in her home when the Donna, Cherie, and Kevin were young. When her children were growing up, their welfare and education were paramount. They were exposed to the best of educations, cultural activities, music lessons, art classes, trips to the symphony as well as immersion in the Japanese and Japanese American cultural heritage.

Other people’s needs precluded any fear of strangers as Dorothy delighted in making new acquaintances and friends and brought them into the warmth of her home. She sensed their needs and did her best to address them. "This is Irma, she’s from Trinidad, I met her in Hair Dressing School", "This is Yoshio, he’s been working at Excel Grocery Store, he’s a student from Japan, he has a beautiful voice", "This is Mr. Kohama, he’s with the Japanese Counsulate, I thought he would like Japanese food" she smilingly proclaimed as she introduced them to family and friends and she continued to maintain a lifelong relationship with them as well as countless others she encountered in her various jobs and volunteer activities, addressing whatever needs or wants they had.

Dorothy was an aunty extraordinaire to our children and grandchildren when they came along always interested in their welfare, education and activities. Her gifts to them were always thoughtfully selected, age appropriate and subtly educational. Recently,Grandson, Jake had a wonderful time having a pillow fight with aunty and both he and Dorothy were shrieking with laughter", what a good sport she was.

"Jr. you should go to church" She would admonish. Her spiritual faith was of primary importance and was reflected in her loving, caring relationships with all people as well as in her extraordinary service to Christian Fellowship United Methodist Church until it merged with this Church and where it continued endlessly. A group of bridge players once said, "watch out, here comes Dorothy." They knew she would ask them to do something for church and they could not refuse her because she did so much herself. My wife, Betty says that Dorothy is a role model of someone who truly lived her faith and that try as she might she’ll never achieve as much as Dorothy has.

In spite of the health problems Dorothy had in recent years, her passing was not the result of them but from a rapid infection that required surgery on Thanksgiving evening and then again five days later. Though gone from this earth, the sermon of her life will remain with us forever.





Page 2 of Memorial service


Tributes, communications to and from family members: Junior, Dorothy

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